BROCKTON, Mass. –- Brockton jumped out to an early 6-0 to start the game and led throughout the match to top No. 15 Brighton 71-65 to win the championship game of the 38th Rotary Club of Brockton Holiday Tournament.
Both teams relied heavily on outside shooting, but neither teams’ sharp shooters were on target tonight. In the fourth quarter, Bockton got a boost from senior Sayvonn Houston, scoring 8 of his 14 points in the fourth. Houston shrunk 4 out of his 6 free throw attempts in the final quarter and shot 50 % (6-12) from the line on the night.
“We realized that their big man was out, so we thought about our big man,” said Brockton sophomore Jaylen Blakely.”Our big man kept calling for the ball and he deserved the ball, how he was fighting for it, so he kept getting the ball and he kept getting and ones. He kept scoring so we keep feeding him the ball.”
Ashed Tres: The three point shot is a neat invention. For a few extra feet distance with accuracy, you can earn an extra point for a bucket. But when the failing three is used constantly, as when teams do not have aggressive post scorers, so a natural option is mid to long range jump shots. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don’t. Blakely scored 6 out of the 14 points in the first quarter on three point shots.
“I started swinging the ball and realized that they were leaving me open, letting me see if I would shoot, so I just them off, sad Blakely. “It felt good so I just kept shooting, and they were falling.”
Blakely ended up with 17 points, 2 rebounds and two assists.
Opportunity, Four: During the fourth quarter, Blakely shot 4-4 from the free throw line and added a field goal to his tally. The sophomore was not deterred that his shot, and those of his teammates, were not falling regularly but that there was hope in the next stroke of the wrists. Despite the many attempts, only one Boxer made a three pointer in the fourth quarter and that was tournament MVP Jamal Reuben.
Houston grabbed 10 rebounds, including four in the fourth quarter, and blocked two shots. The senior bounded up and down the court in the fourth like a bull in the ring, driving the ball in the paint, waiting to be stopped or to be fouled. With Brighton’s big man Prince Unaegbu on the bench, fouling out with 3:57 left in the game, Houston took the opportunity to challenge some of Brighton’s non-traditional big men.
"They were coming back on three point shots and second chance opportunities from getting the box out,” Houston said. ”We were able to get them down low because they didn’t have any size on us, so I just took over down there.”
In the fourth, Brockton went to the free throw line for fourteen shots, the Bengals had no opportunities from the free throw line in that same period of time. With Houston creating an inside game, Blakely and Jarrod Shelby took the opportunity to be aggressive as well, taking the ball to the hoop, drawing contact and making 11 out the 14 opportunities lucrative.